Love Fiercely

 

I want to start off this post by saying — I do not believe in using the word ‘hater.’ I have heard many people say it through the years, some innocently & others like it is a badge of honor that people hate them. Nowhere in the bible do we hear about ‘haters’ — but we do hear about how to deal with, “people who hate you.” As a believer & follower of God, I have never been able to find a passage in the bible that mentions Jesus gloating to the disciples about His ‘haters’ but He does mention, what to do when we are hated… The problem with people talking about ‘haters’ is that it gives those that are hating more power in your life than necessary — & to be real here, most of those talking about their ‘haters’ ARE THE HATER!

 

I know from experience that people do & can position themselves an enemy against you. & yet, over & over in the bible we are told to, “LOVE THOSE WHO HATE YOU.” I know what you’re thinking… What could the Bible possibly teach me about what to do with those who are hateful towards me in a modern day {when everyone has an opinion & platform to share it on?} People who hate have been around since the beginning of time — it began with Cain & Abel & it has just progressed from there… so, it has been a very long time we have been dealing with a hateful spirit in the world. Jesus had numerous amounts of situations having to do with people that placed themselves as an enemy against Him or what He stood for… & the interesting thing, is that the Bible does give very clear instructions on how to handle people who oppose you or set themselves as an enemy against you.

 

First of all, I think that ‘hater’ is a term that is used when someone lives with the mentality of a victim, rather than someone who knows that God made them & set them up as an heir to a victorious life. I choose to not talk about people in that way for a few reasons… mostly because it is not worth my time — I am not saying all of this to start off this post by making you feel bad if you say or have said, ‘haters’. But I would like to challenge you to think about this: 

 

IF YOU ARE CALLING | TREATING | OR SPEAKING ABOUT SOMEONE AS A HATER — ARE YOU NOT ALSO HATING?

  

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US WAS MADE BY GOD. The devil did not wake up one day & think, “hey, I’ll make some haters/enemies today…” So, that means that the people you do not like & even those who do not like you — must be faced with the reality that; we were all made by the same creator | He has the same intentions for all of us | & God wants us ALL to prosper & follow His lead!

 

I have had people do & say some very hateful | deeply hurtful | & COMPLETELY wrong things about me… I have had individuals make up huge lies & even spread them as if they were true. The crazy thing is when others believe these insane stories & lies — But here is the thing about people who set themselves as an enemy against you; it is a choice that they made, meaning — no matter what has happened or what they have chosen, you do not have to be hateful in return… YOU GET TO CHOOSE HOW YOU RESPOND! 

 

You cannot have resolution with everyone because it is two-sided, but resolve is possible because it is singular… resolve happens inside of you. The interesting thing about people who hate, is that they may not even know they are giving their authority & power over to the enemy, because hatefulness is a spirit. It is a way of thinking | acting | & living, but it is also something that takes over peoples lives & keeps them stuck. These people feel that when they hate, they have a place of importance or a voice on something — it is strange how attention on something so negative can give someone such significance in their own eyes. & yet, the most important | impactful | & memorable voice/life I have ever heard about or known of Jesus Christ; was colored | founded | & categorized by LOVE — not hate.

 

Hate will keep you in an unhappy place. Hate will keep you hurt & eventually, hate will destroy you from the inside out… it overtakes & controls so much of our lives if we let it. How do we then make the choice to not ‘hate on the haters’, or even care about the hate? In order to conquer hate in our lives, we must make 6 key decisions — These will help us to represent God well & choose to rise above the place where others are trying to pull you down…

 

The people that hate are always trying to bring you down, this is because they are already BENEATH YOU! So, don’t get down on their level… Do not lower who you were created to be & respond to something that contributes nothing good to your life. When we fall for this trick of hate — we play into the hands of the enemy & we become a part of a dark game, that we will never win.

 

It is natural for us to encounter others in life that we may not get along with, & of those there may even be those who have chosen to be “enemies” against you/what you stand for. It is important for us to keep in mind, that these people dealing with a spirit of hate are still loved by & made by God, just like you. Remember that your number one enemy is Satan, not a human. He comes against us in many ways & is always trying to get us to fall for his lies — but we cannot let him win & you do not have to fall for his tricks & schemes.

 

 

BELOW ARE 6 WAYS TO DEAL WITH THOSE WHO HATE OR PUT THEMSELVES AGAINST YOU:

 

 

1. DO NOTHING

LUKE 21:17-19

Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, & you will win life.

Those who face hate head on, tend to mistakenly think that they can effectively deal with mean people by putting them in their place | calling them names | insulting them | or worse, fighting against them in one way or another. Not surprisingly, these individuals only end up responding in a way that makes things worse. The response you cause when you choose to address | acknowledge | or try to even calm those who hate is like pouring gas on a fire with the intention of calming it. When we fight against hate, we are giving them just what they were looking for in the first place — attention — & not surprisingly, the cycle of hatred never comes to an end. 

 

No one is immune to experiencing hate & or hateful people at some point in their life. It does not matter who it comes from, it can originate through friends, family, or coworkers, & it happens to all of us at some time or another. As Christians, we are called to live in a way that many do not & cannot understand. & yet, Jesus asked us to follow him, because He knew that we would be hated. He tells us to stand strong & do nothing, which sounds crazy! Luke 21:19 even says that we will win in life if we do so… As hard as it that may be to believe… in standing strong & choosing to let God handle it, we are able to eventually win.

EXODUS 14:14

The Lord will fight for you, & you have only to be silent.

 

 

 

 

2. DON’T RETURN HATE FOR HATE.

1 PETER 3:9

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

How many times have you had someone be mean to you or say something terrible & it made you go into a cycle of questioning why they would do such a thing… & then you end up reacting in a way you never wanted to. How many times after those hurtful situations, did you decide that next time you would choose better | get better | be stronger | & less sensitive to the pain caused by others?  it never works because you still will not understand why people are so mean & you keep trying to figure it out instead of moving forward into being the best you no matter what. It is actually many times the negativity shown towards us, that encourages us to grow. You may respond in ways you never wanted or not like what is being said or done to you, but often you will find a way to get better & grow beyond it.

 

Usually, there is not even validity in the claims | hatefulness | or negativity shown towards you. & it can be so tempting to fight back | show people why they are wrong | or even be hateful right back… But nothing good comes from payback — After all, the Bible tells us that we will actually receive blessings when we bless those that hurt us, so there is actually incentive to do so. I think that many people end up being mean because in their quest to actually seek out love, they got stuck in the hurt & it turned to hatred. I think that it helps when you realize that people who hate, need love just as much as you do. You see, the first thing that will really help you to understand people who deal with being hateful, is that they aren’t actually evil {all the time}, & no matter how unjustified their behavior might be  they have their own reasons for acting the way they do.

 

I think that people who are constantly being hateful have no real concept of what love is and or true meaning in their lives. Some have been through terrible things & use hate as a defense mechanism, & they do so because they’re trying to protect themselves from any possible threat that might come toward them from others.

Hurt people — HURT PEOPLE. 

 

“I hope that your husband cheats on you & you get cancer & die.” — I remember reading that comment on my wedding website on the guestbook page, & at first, I couldn’t believe that someone would say something so terrible. What type of person would wish that on another person — & thinking about it now, I still don’t like it or agree with the hateful comment, but I know that only someone who is hurting very deeply would ever say things like that. This is a PG – version of the things that have been said to me or about me in the past few years… & I have learned that there are two things I have come to understand about hate, that I’m sure you’ll agree with:

1) There are not well-adjusted & happy people that purposely do | say | or write hate-filled things to try & tear others down or apart. Why? Because healthy people do not waste their time being hateful. They are too busy moving forward in life & trying to be their best no matter what they face. 

2) It is not often that a perpetually negative or hateful person is even close to right when they spread hate. & the sad thing is that they can lie to themselves so much that they believe the reality & lies that they have created over the truth. These people are experts at trying to destroy things behind the safety of a computer screen {it takes no skill or real talent to do that & it doesn’t make them a hero – like they think}, most of the time their personal life is so out of order, that they are not even able to publicly build anything healthy or worth replicating {they have relational trouble, job issues, & just really — issues with anything & anyone they can find.} They have a tendancy to get so caught up in what they don’t like or agree with, that they never move forward in a positive way in their own life. 

I remind myself of both of these points whenever I deal with hatefulness… you should too. People who choose to hurt others are themselves broken & are deeply hurting.  If you’re dealing with people who seemingly find pleasure in creating destructive atomospheres — just remember this: When it comes down to it, their hate has nothing to do with you, it’s a reflection about how they feel about themselves.

 

 

 

 

3. DON’T TRY & FIGURE OUT WHY.

PSALMS 38:19

Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous.

I know from personal experience that you can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why someone chooses to be so hateful & mean towards you. & I wish I could go back in time & read this verse to myself in hard times… Because so many times, hate WILL NOT make sense. Some people will simply hate you for no reason & it is very important to learn to be okay with it. We must choose to focus being our best & honor God in your life, instead of wasting time trying to justify someone else’s hate.

When asking Dr. Robi about how to deal with hate, he told me, “You cannot reason with insanity.”

This helped me so much, because what I have learned is that those who hate & hurt others can be our teachers. We have all hurt someone in one way or another in life, either intentionally or uninitionally… & we have the choices to make that will either help us grow into a better you or not. Those that we come into contact with that hurt us, can help us learn to love ourselves & their actions can even empower us to build up the strength to be more & do more than we ever would have before. We cannot be worried or try to figure out why or how they got to this place… I know the thing I always want to know is, ‘why.’ Why is this situation this way | why is a person the way that they are | & why should I respond well when people do not treat me right. The fact is this: a hateful person will either purge their hate & learn to bring light inside of their life, or they will stay stuck in their eternal internal war until it ruins everything.

 

People being hateful towards you will only be a problem if you let it be… & for a few years, I struggled with this issue — I even made myself feel bad because I thought, ‘what I did to deserve such negative actions & words.’ The worst thing you can do to yourself is cause self-inflicted harm… emotional | physical | or spiritual. If you do not take care of yourself, you can develop issues that become like an infection {in the mental, spiritual, or even emotional areas of life} which then can spread inside of you. There’s no need to know why people do or say what they do or say… & even if you end up finding out why — it will NEVER be a good enough reason. Even if someone does have a justified reason for hating you in their mind… those that deal with this spirit of hate do not often change their mind. Hating is even more addictive than cigarettes or drugs, so imagine how hard it is to change someone’s mind about why they shouldn’t feel this way about you. Facts don’t matter to those that struggle with a hateful sprit & defending yourself will only make things worse… they look for any fuel to light the fire for their reason to hate.

 

 

 

  

4. FORGIVE THEM NO MATTER WHAT.

EPHESIANS 4:32

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. 

It does not matter how close to God you think that you are, or how ‘spiritual’ you consider yourself to be — we all struggle with sin & forgiveness. But God loves you so much that He forgave you even before you ever sinned. He does not look at us differently than the best person we know or even the worst… He made all of us & God loves each one of us the same. Ephesians 4:32 makes it clear that God wants us to be kind to others & forgive them like God has forgiven us, no matter what! He never said forgiving people who are hateful would be easy, but God did tell us that if we do not forgive others — we cannot be forgiven by him. 

 

I wrote something a while back, & I keep reminding myself of it… WE DO NOT FORGIVE BECAUSE WE FEEL LIKE IT, WE FORGIVE BECAUSE WE ARE LED BY OUR SPIRIT — NOT OUR EMOTIONS. Some people are so consumed by anger | pain | comparison | & fear — that they cannot even think about getting to a place where they can let God handle their heart | mind | or any part of their lives for that matter. Forgiveness is not for the other person… when you forgive, it is not saying that you are okay with what they have done, but you are making the choice to no longer let it effect or control you. 

 

 

 

 

5. CHOOSE TO BLESS THOSE WHO HATE. 

ROMANS 12:14

Bless those who persecute you; bless & do not curse them.

The thing that people have the most difficult time understanding is that God asks us to actually choose to  bless those who are hateful towards us, eventhough they will probably NEVER be sorry for what they have done. It is very hard to understand at times, how we could ever reach a place that we can choose to bless someone who has been so mean & hateful towards us. & yet, no matter how great the offense towards us — God asks the same from all of us… that we choose to follow Him over choosing to be led by any way that we could be justified to feel.

 

I believe that every person you encounter in life was put into your life for a reason… You may not like the reason & you may not have anticipated the outcome you may face, but we know that the bible tells us that, “God uses everything for the good of those who love Him.” So, while at times it is very hard to see the good in people | situations | & circumstances, you can know that the God who made them in good & God has already planned how He will use every situation for your best!

1 PETER 3:9
Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

Some people & some encounters are here to bless you while some are here to not simply test you, but they help to prove who God created you to be & to prove that He is faithful, even when things are very difficult. The great thing about blessing someone when they have been hateful — is that it can be so surprising to the offender that they at times just go straight to turning to God & sometimes, with Gods help… they decide to stop being hateful. So, next time your character is tested by someone, go out of your way to bless them & God will bless you in return. 

 

God made you for a great purpose & you have already made it this far —  so don’t stop now! We all have a choice in how we respond in life — choose to be a person that points people back to God, His goodness & love… not someone whose actions further justify their hate. You are significant | you are important | you are powerful — NEVER let anyone make you feel any different than who God created you to be. Choose responses that will contribute to an outcome that honors God, do not sow seed into a life that makes you feel justified or right… the return on that kind of life will never make you happy.

Blessing people — breaks the spirit of hatefulness.

 

 

 

 

 

6. RESPOND BY PRAYING FOR THEM.

MATTHEW 5:44

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, & pray for them which despitefully use you, & persecute you.

I want to be the type of person, that has a first reaction to bring things to God first before I react or take action. Since we are called to love our enemies… when you encounter hate & you aren’t sure what to do, you can pray… it is one of the deepest forms of love you can show someone who has set themselves as an enemy against you.

 

& in order for you to pray for some one {rightly} you must have a desire for something good happen to them. It is possible to simply go through the motions & fake it… you can even do nice things for your enemy & yet you are without any genuine desire for things go well for them. & still, if you can make a real decisiom to truly believe the best & you pray for them… you will enter into a place where the presence of God is close to you — He knows your heart & prayer is engaging in relationship with Him on the hateful persons behalf. If you aren’t sure how you can accomplish this, Jesus left us an example of prayer on the cross for those who hated Him, he said:

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

LUKE 23:34

& the man known as the first martyr for following Jesus, Stephen prayed as he was being stoned:

Falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’

ACTS 7:60

Jesus shows us the way & then calls us to not simply do nice things for our enemy, He is asking us to further to choose to also want the best for those who set themselves as enemies in our life & pray for them… even when the enemy is nowhere around & has never shown that they are sorry, you still pray. Our hearts should desire that they have reconciliation with God & hope that their life is right with Him so that they can experience eternity in Heaven. I do not know about you, but I need God to give me strength & grace to be able to pray like the apostle Paul did for the Jewish people, that hated him & were against him, when all he wanted to do was love & help them he says:

My heart’s desire & prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

ROMANS 10:1

 

 


Our response to hate & meanness as followers of God should be lead by Romans 12.


 

 

ROMANS 12:9-21

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.   

 

 

 

The final proof of greatness lies in being about to endure criticism without resentment.

Elbert Hubbard

 

 




When I encounter hate: I chose to smile more | I choose to respond with love | & the way that I am able to do so is by praying for those who hurt me & blessing those who curse me.

I may not see the results now or even in the near future, but I trust that God is true to His word. I know that in the end, He will be my defender – so I have no need to defend myself. 

The interesting thing about a hateful spirit, is that it needs a target… & when you give no response & it can have absolutely no effect on my behavior, because those who live with a spirit of hate are silenced… & they move on to another target who can give them the emotional reaction they crave.

Choose to live in such a way that the days of giving people who hurt you or hate you a reaction or a response are over & choose to stop giving them the power & attention than they crave & try to get out of you, it ends today!

The sad thing is that, once people choose to live in hate, they are gonna hate regardless of what you do or don’t do.




 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Strength To Love, 1963

 

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